The Power of Positive Thinking — Being Optimistic in Challenging Times
Updated: Mar 3
“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde
Ever wonder why some people immediately see the bright side of just about any situation and seem to make friends wherever they go? I know I do. You see, I was a pessimistic realist most of my life, which I mainly attribute to the information acquired by endless research that I do in my business consulting practice, and life experiences too. Coupled with that I’m a classic introvert where I embody the old adage, “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
For years this “cup half empty” approach served me well, especially when implementing a wide variety of intricate and multi-faceted marketing campaigns. And as I advanced in my career and switched from implementation to strategic planning, I continued the same approach with much fanfare recognizing once again that being a pessimistic realist helped me carefully craft the most complex of strategic plans.
But the last couple years have somehow led me to an epiphany and changed the way I think. The ongoing pandemic-stricken, inflation anxious, and mostly virtual social interactions has switched my mindset into being an optimistic realist. I know it’s been quite a shocking revelation — that a “cup half-empty” could become a “cup half-full”.
So, what happened?
COVID-19 has had a profound negative effect on the mental health of the nation. Add to that the rising prices, the great resignation and labor shortage, global supply chain crisis and a very polarized society among others. It’s hard to become optimistic when faced with so much negative news.
Could it have something to do with the human spirit and our capability to rise above insane challenges and market situations?
Hmmm — let’s explore further….
As a business advisor under these difficult and often trying times — I consistently smile while on Zoom, provide comedic relief and even life coaching. I teach people to forgive themselves, not take anything so seriously and adapt a more positive mindset. Somehow my philosophy for others has now translated for me as well.
Crazy, no? I thought so until I realized that I actively seek to turn every “no” into a “yes”. I do this by retreating, gathering new market information and repositioning the narrative into something more appealing to my target audience. I know this seems like a “no-brainer” — but it’s taken me a career to figure out how to control the situation to my satisfaction and end-result.
As a matter of fact, I have more gigs and opportunities now in the twilight of my career than when I was an “up and coming” young whippersnapper.
And here’s why you should try it too…
Mental health is positively affected by an optimistic view of the world. It doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily shiny and happy at all moments of everyday. But it does mean that you have an ability to look at a situation and while it might be tough, you’re able to see around that corner and see the possibility in it.
Optimism increases motivation, reduces anxiety, and leads to success. But the feelings have to come from a genuine belief that there is reason to hope. And hope has always given me the push for action, for going on, for moving forward.
With that said I thought I’d share some of the helpful habits and approaches I’ve recently mastered in this journey to become a “cup half-full”:
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your vision.
Break down business challenges into bite size pieces.
Don’t work alone! Business and life are team sports so build a team of experts to motivate you, collaborate with, and learn from.
Walk, hike, run, meditate… whatever it is you like doing, as long as you keep active.
Learn to laugh and not take yourself too seriously.
Avoid negative energy: thoughts, situations, and people.
Although I’ve turned over a new leaf — some things don’t change:
I only watched the Super Bowl for the ads — who can resist seeing $7 million 30 second spots?
I’m still waiting with bated breath to buy Girl Scout cookies directly from those cute smiling little girls waiting in front of the local grocery store.
I always go to Target or Trader Joe’s for a pick-me-up.
And, yes, I still drink Diet Coke and eat sunflower seeds!
So, the next time you find your cup half-empty, it may be time to change your bra size. LOL!
For more business tips, check out my other blogs. And email us for help with marketing and branding for your small business.